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Parents Need to Eat Too: Nap-Friendly Recipes, One-Handed Meals, and Time-Saving Kitchen Tricks for New Parents Paperback – February 21, 2012

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Editorial Reviews


If only this book came with every box of newborn diapers or baby blanket! New and seasoned parents alike will find delicious and simple recipes - from first nibbles to toddler tastes and fullgrown meals enjoyed together (Emily Franklin, author of Too Many Cooks: Kitchen Adventures with 1 Mom, 4 Kids and 102 New Recipes, and founder of

With more than 150 recipes, intelligent healthy tips, and comments from real moms just like you, Parents Need to Eat Too will be your go-to resource and make you the confident parent you want to be. (Eileen Behan, RD family nutritionist and author of The Baby Food Bible and Eat Well Lose Weight While Breast Feeding)

“Finally, a book that reminds new moms: yes, your life may be totally wrapped up in feeding your baby right now, but you need-and deserve!-to eat well, too.” (Meagan Francis, author of The Happiest Mom: 10 Secrets to Enjoying Motherhood)

“I laughed, I learned, I dreamed up a hundred fantastic meals while reading Parents Need to Eat Too.“ (Melanie Rehak, author of Eating for Beginners)

“Parents Need to Eat Too should be on every baby shower registry.” (Jen Singer, author, the Stop Second-Guessing Yourself guides to parenting)

“You don’t have to be a parent to learn from Debbie Koenig’s eminently sensible book.” (Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life)

“This book is a must-have for new parents who enjoy eating good food with real flavor.” (Leah McLaughlin, Editor in Chief, Edible Communities/Edible Queens)

“If only Debbie Koenig’s Parents Need to Eat Too had existed back [when I was a new parent]. Every new parent should ask for Debbie’s book as a baby shower gift!” (Leah Ingram, author of Suddenly Frugal: How to Live Happier and Healthier for Less)

“Reassuring is the first word that comes to mind when reading food writer Koenig’s first cookbook, in which she provides doable, affordable meal solutions for new parents.” (Library Journal)

From the Back Cover

The question is as old as parenting itself: How can new moms and dads eat well when all their time and energy is spent on baby? Finally, we have the answer!

Specifically designed for frazzled, sleep-deprived parents, every recipe in Parents Need to Eat, Too is nutritious, delicious, satisfying, and EASY. As a bonus each recipe includes instructions for preparing baby food from the same ingredients. Plus every recipe has the added advantage of being tested by a group of more than 100 new parents.

Inside you'll find:

  • Meals you can eat with one hand
  • Recipes for the new parent's best friend: the slow cooker
  • More ambitious recipes, broken down into simple stages to perform while baby naps
  • “Un-Recipes” for parents who can't cook at all
  • Recipes that support breastfeeding
  • Advice from experts, including a pediatric dietitian and a lactation consultant

Here are real solutions for the real problems new parents face in the kitchen. Through comforting, honest, and essential help for stressed out, undernourished moms and pops, Parents Need To Eat Too ensures that nobody will go hungry!

Parents Need to Eat Too has been named one of the Best Cookbooks of 2012 by Leite’s Culinaria, whose Editor-in-Chief Renee Schettler Rossi called it the “What to Expect After You’re Expecting” and said that the book “savvily and sassily helps you extend the efficiency of any time spent in the kitchen.”

If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $2.99 (Save 76%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; 1 edition (February 21, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062005944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062005946
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #129,364 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Debbie Koenig is a food, diet, and parenting writer whose work has appeared in dozens of publications, including Parents, American Baby, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Weight Watchers. In between assignments and packing school lunches, she juggles three blogs: her personal blog plus ones for Weight Watchers and BabyCenter. Koenig lives in Brooklyn, NY, with her omnivorous husband and their young son, an otherwise adorable child so stubbornly picky he's practically non-nivorous.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Tanya on July 23, 2012
Format: Paperback
I decided to purchase this book after stumbling across the author's blog. I was desperate, Googling "simple baby food" info all night. My son was growing out of his stage three foods and showing great interest in table food. I am a working professional who has spent eight years in graduate school, but is petrified of the kitchen. I needed a cook book with relatively simple, nutritionally sound recipes I could reference in the kitchen while chasing my restless toddler around. This book, while certainly entertaining and informative, is, well "fussy". Don't get me wrong, it is helpful to read the intro information about pantry preparation and parent friendly short cuts (I went out and purchased Rao's marinara sauce and a slow cooker the very next day), but I find the recipes are needlessly complex and geared towards urban "foodies" with every type of exotic ingredient at their immediate disposal (I live in the burbs, about 30 miles outside of NYC). I have yet to find the elusive anchovy paste for my sauce in my local LI Trader Joes, Stop n Shop or Target and somehow I don't imagine my now 13 month old would love a recipe that includes red wine vinegar or sherry (I've tried champagne salad dressing, but no luck;). Physically, this book is also not kitchen friendly...a thick paperback book whose print practically melted off the page the first time I spilt a drop of water on it. While I have enjoyed making steel cut oats (one of the simplest recipes possible) in my new slow cooker, even this recipe required that I Google the "water bath" method for slow cookers. The author assumes, with no photos or illustrations in the book, that a novice like myself will know what the heck a "water bath" is (I don't know, maybe I am dense?).Read more ›
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By BostonAmy on July 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book after seeing that 100% of reviews (at the time) were 5 stars. Clearly, it was a book that I needed as a new mother. It has been a good addition to my small cook book collection, and some of the advice is very sound. I have cooked many recipes out of it (but there are still many to go), and it is one of the first books I pull off the shelf when I want to plan the weeks' meals.

Here's why I don't give it 5 stars: the recipes are good, but not amazing. They're solid, parent friendly, not-too-fussy, but more fancy than just opening a few cans and jars dishes, but 5 star worthy? Nope. Also, My husband, who is 6'3' and likes to eat has mentioned that some of the meals that I've made out of this just don't satisfy as much as he would like - they feel like snacks to him.

So, would I recommend this to a friend? Sure. Would I buy it for them as a gift? Maybe. Do I regret buying it? Nope. When I want hands-down-amazing food, will I turn here? Probably not.

Hope that's helpful.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Brassard on February 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
The recipes in this book are just great! I've tried many of them, and everything has been both delicious and easy to prepare. I love the nap-time cooking method, for preparing dinner in the little chunks of time while your little ones are asleep or otherwise occupied - with 3 young children, that really makes a difference in dinner getting to our table on time.
We're vegetarians, and while this book includes non-vegetarian recipes, there's more than enough in it to make it worthwhile for families who don't eat meat. Overall, it's a great cookbook to help parents cook foods that the whole family will eat, in amounts of time that are practical, without depending heavily on convenience foods. There's plenty in here for the experienced cook with lots of cooking savvy and a shelf full of cookbooks, but also great information if you're just getting started in the kitchen.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Amanda on February 24, 2012
Format: Paperback
They should give out copies when they give you the Glucola for your gestational diabetes test. Or at least send you home with a copy from the hospital. Or have your midwife give you one at the birth. Or hand it to you with a hearty congratulations when you bring home an adopted child. Because seriously people, ALL PARENTS NEED THIS BOOK.

Yes, there are a lot of things new parents need - sleep, reassurance, a semi-regular shower perhaps - but to fuel all those things (yes, even the sleep), you need to be well-fed. We're all programmed to be totally tuned into our babies' appetites and eating habits, but what about ours?? This cookbook - really a how-to manual for nurturing yourself during those early weeks and months with baby - takes all the guesswork and how-to planning out of meal prep, which is exactly what you need. Tell me what to cook, how to make it, and what to always have on hand so I can feed myself - and my family - well without having to actually THINK.

So after you've enjoyed one of her tasty recipes for dinner, you're going to pop one or two (or four) of her amazing chocolate chip cookie dough balls in the oven (because you have a batch in the freezer, natch, that you made during naptime last week), sit down with your baby in your arms, put your feet up, and thank her for making your already sweet life infinitely more delicious.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By ADP on February 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
I've got a lot of cookbooks that I love, but only a couple I return to regularly. And only one that breaks down recipes into manageable bits, so that it's possible to get a healthy, delicious dinner on the table even when I don't have a 30 minute window at the end of the day. This is that cookbook.

I work for pay 40+ hours a week and then work at parenting my 5 and 3 year old. Both jobs bring me joy, but let's face it: Doing all that plus running a household, keeping up with my spouse and managing the general mayhem makes menu planning, shopping and cooking seem pretty daunting. And I really love food. I *want* to do more than pasta and frozen veggies and jar sauce every night. (Not that my kids - or spouse - would complain if I did.) And frankly, my spouse could use some ideas for cooking without feeling daunted, too.

Enter _Parents Need to Eat Too._ I learned the art of naptime cooking, and long after my kids gave up naps, I've used the technique to prepare dinner in the five minutes here and ten minutes there that I have. I learned the many things I can do with a can of chickpeas. I learned to love my slow cooker and the impressive variety of meals it can provide.

This is a book that embraces the reality of today's busy household. Debbie knows that you love your kids, but that you don't have hours to spend perfecting a meal. She has created absolutely delicious recipes that somehow appeal to adult and kid tastes, that can be prepared in the time that you actually have-- not the time you wish you had, and not the time other cookbooks require you to have. I love the Greekish Orzo Salad, her "roast" chicken in the crockpot (with a variation in a Dutch oven if you don't have a crockpot), Slightly-Less-Lazy Italian Chicken, lemony chickpea and broccoli pasta.
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